Differentiate yourself, add value, and generate buzz to become known, build authority, stay top of mind, and make marketing your freelance business easier.
Marketing is a word that, when mentioned around freelancers, often brings about grumbles, moans, and sighs. It’s hard to get excited about marketing when you’re already wearing too many hats and responsible for too many things.
If you’re freelancing, you’re probably wondering:
- Where do I find the time for marketing when I’m already crazy-busy with far too many tasks on my to-do list?
- If I’m going to invest in marketing, how do I make sure it’s worth the time and effort and actually produces results?
While marketing your freelance business may not be your favorite thing to do, it’s vital to the longevity of your business and your brand. Marketing is how you gain visibility, build a reputation, and become known — and people can’t hire you, buy from you, learn from you, or join your list if they don’t know you exist. This means you have to figure out how to engage in and sustain consistent marketing that works.
Luckily, there are three simple things you can do to ensure your freelance marketing efforts produce results:
Differentiate Yourself From The Competition
You should always strive to be better than your competition but with that said, being different, standing out, getting noticed, and being remembered is far better than actually being better. It’s why you may have noticed that other freelancers — some who are less skilled and less talented than you — consistently land great clients and cool projects.
It’s also easier to be different than to be better because YOU are different and unique and like no one else. Own what makes you special and shout it from the rooftops because…
- With a boring, ho-hum, sounds-like-everyone-else marketing message, it’s hard for people to see why you’re a better choice or even the best choice.
- When your marketing attempts to speak to everyone with generic platitudes and vanilla messages, it ends up resonating with no one.
- When prospective clients can’t see an obvious difference between you and a competitor, they have nothing to compare you on but price… And when you compete on price, everyone loses.
When you fail to differentiate yourself, everything, including your marketing, is harder.
Figuring out how you’re different can be tough but the payoff yields a consistent pipeline quality, ideal clients. To get started, consider all of the different ways you’re different:
- Your Story: How you got to where you are today (your origin story).
- Your Personality: Define your superpower and what makes you you.
- Your Why: Why you do what you do and why you started your business.
- Your Mission: What you hope to achieve / what you’re working toward.
- Your Values: The characteristics and values that define your brand.
- Your Expertise: The credentials, qualifications, and experience you have.
- Your Methodology: How you think about and approach the work you do.
- Your Process: How you do the work you do and create consistent results.
- Your Client Experience: What it means to partner with or work with you.
Differentiating yourself is about identifying what makes you the best choice for your ideal clients.
Provide Undeniable Value In Every Interaction
Once you’ve gained clarity on what makes you unique and different, focus on the value delivered in every single interaction someone has with you, your business, and your brand.
Every brand touchpoint — from your website, blog, and contact form to social media and email to phone calls, video, texting, and live chats to webinars and in-person interactions — needs to consistently provide a useful, helpful, friendly experience that aligns with the reputation you want to be known for.
You want everyone you speak with, email with, communicate with, or interact with to leave the experience thinking:
- “Wow, I am so glad we spoke.”
- “Thank goodness I reached out.”
- “Listening to that was worth every minute!”
- “Wow, he/she/they were so helpful.”
- “Thank goodness I found this article!”
When that happens, you’ll turn a stranger into a fan, a fan into an client, and a client into an evangelist — all of whom will expand your brand reach with word of mouth marketing. Also, being recognized and remembered for helping others and adding value builds significant trust and loyalty, which leads to more referrals, more leads, and more lucrative opportunities.
Positioning your brand as the destination for trusted information and the go-to resource when someone in your niche needs help takes a lot of pressure off more traditional marketing efforts and helps you marketing produce better results.
Generate Share-Worthy Brand Buzz
You started a business because you are really good at what you do. You have an innate talent and skill that very few others have. You also have experience and expertise that is very valuable to other people. Step into the spotlight, leave Impostor Syndrome behind, and share your knowledge and passion with the world because there are people desperately looking for your products, programs, services, courses, and memberships right now.
You need to get your brand out there for everyone to see, hear, watch, and experience. You need to build buzz and get other people talking about you to everyone they know because when there’s a buzz around your brand, you don’t have to shout as loud.
Here are a few ways to build buzz and expand the audience for your freelance business:
- Write blog posts that help your ideal clients take action and get closer to their goals.
- Share client success stories, testimonials that tell transformation stories, and case studies that demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities.
- Submit well-researched guest posts to popular, high-trafficked websites frequented by your target market.
- Publish tips, tricks, insights, resources, tools, tutorials, research and more across your social media channels.
- Apply to speak at events and if accepted, market your speaking engagement and the event to solidify your expert status.
- Question the status quo and challenge the way it’s always been done to create a little controversy and gain attention.
- Offer opinions, fresh perspectives, alternate approaches, or unique methodologies that showcase thought leadership.
- Attend business events, conferences, workshops, and retreats, and take advantage of every opportunity to meet new people and help attendees get to know you.
If you don’t have a lot of time, there are faster ways to elevate your brand presence, become known, and get people to notice you — each one uses what I call the piggybacking method. It’s where you associate your brand with someone else’s established reputation, and influence, or piggyback on their brand equity to build your own.
Here are a few ideas to leverage someone else’s authority:
- Interview other experts and high-profile influencers on your own podcast, web show, or blog and market the interviews like crazy.
- Apply to be a guest on podcasts and radio shows then hype up and share your episodes and interviews.
- Write reviews of events, products, programs, services, and even speakers and optimize the review for search.
- Pitch a strategic partner or company you love on hosting a joint, co-branded webinar training or virtual workshop.
- When booked to speak at conferences or virtual summits, market your speaking engagement and mention other “big name” speakers alongside your name.
Marketing Is About Staying Top Of Mind
Differentiating yourself, adding value to every brand interaction, and generating buzz for your business is all about becoming known, staying top of mind, simplifying your marketing so it’s easier to attract ideal clients.
It’s not something that will happen overnight, but with consistent effort over time, you’ll find your brand in the spotlight, benefiting from word of mouth marketing, increased trust, more website traffic, and authority positioning. As a result, you’ll find it easier to attract new leads and land new clients.